DAYS AFTER THE curtain fell on last Monday's raucous Choice Rocks Minnesota benefit at First Avenue, the staff of Minneapolis Pro-Choice Resources was still pleasantly jarred by the evening's success. The benefit concert--featuring Soul Asylum, Walt Mink, Run Westy Run, and others--netted over $10,000 for Pro-Choice Resources, and helped raise awareness about an organization that plays a crucial role in the statewide and national pro-choice scene. MTV, VH-1, Entertain-ment Tonight and other media were present, and spokesperson Marnie Wells hopes the local and national attention will help distinguish them from Planned Parenthood and a sea of other groups with different focuses. The profits will help fund Pro-Choice Resource's overall services, which include informational programming at Minnesota high schools about STDs, contraception and adoption, as well as the largest assistance fund in the country, providing grants and loans to low-income women nationwide facing unintended pregnancies. (For volunteering info, or to learn more about PCR's services, call 825-2000.)
The show was also successful from a musical standpoint, thanks to the caliber of talent involved. The prodigal Walt Mink have not lost their touch, the Westies scorched as per usual, and Soul Asylum's first formal Avenue gig in more than three years was kinda like the bittersweet experience of greeting an old friend who's drifted out of town. Above all, the event proved that unity and empathy in local music aren't out of style: All of the bands had signed up to play before Soul Asylum got in on the act, says Wells, so they were down with the cause from the get-go.
Big Red Ball called it quits on January 10, bringing a close to the three-Lisa incarnation of Lisa Raye's seven-year project. The trio did leave an engaging six-song EP in their wake (their second release on Pachyderm Records). Drummer Lisa Goldman will continue in the Shepherd Kings, bassist Lisa Parker will follow her own as-yet-undetermined destiny, and guitarist Raye will continue to hone her solo material. Steeplejack says goodbye to grad school-bound bassist Chris Jackson Friday at 7th St. Entry (Interstate Judy, Seth Hogan & The Buck-Fifty Boys, and Cockpocalypse open); the band has completed their debut album, Kitchen Radio, at Paisley Park, and is shopping for a label...
45 RPM Roundup: The lovely Grimsey label has issued the Autumn Leaves's psychedelicious second single, "You Didn't Say a Word/Magic Red Raincoat." Also from Grimsey, a giddy split single of two side projects from Hang Ups guitarist/Scotsman John Crozier, namely Ninian Hawick and The Shebrews. The former offers "Scottish Rite Temple Stomp," a caffeinated pop track with a bagpipe solo and Heather McAlhatton's Scotch vox; the latter lullaby features Jim and Stephanie Winter-Ruiz... AmRep has unleashed the debut single from Gnomes of Zurich (featuring two ex-members of Janitor Joe) and a new 7-inch slab from Silver Salute (featuring two ex-members of Vertigo). The Gnomes play the Uptown this Thursday; the Salute's release party is Friday, Feb. 9, also at the Uptown; Thee Viceroys open, sporting a brand-new 7-inch of their own, Skiffle Sound! (7-10 Split)...
In other record-release news, rock/R&B act Soulution celebrates the release of their new CD Saturday at the Fine Line with a 7 p.m. show. The following Saturday at the place, Ride Ruby Ride (formerly Ruby, rechristened thanks to the same-named trip-hop act on Sony) will launch their ambitious sophomore disc, Brothers... Meanwhile, don't forget, Portland punkers turned MTV heartthrobs Everclear make their umpteenth visit (albeit their Mainroom debut) at First Avenue Sunday, for a 5 p.m. all-ages show; No Doubt and Ruth Ruth open. (Simon Peter Groebner)
Perhaps the local jazz event of the week is a three-set tribute to bassist Chuck Adams. The one-time Wolverine and all-around reliable jobber and jammer recently underwent brain surgery after a bad fall last year. Adams's recovery is moving along, and fortunately he had some medical coverage. Unfortunately, he's lost a lot of work over the months, so bass-brother Anthony Cox and drummer Phil Hey have organized a fundraiser. Their trio Power Circus headlines the night at 10:30. (Circus guitarist Dean Magraw worked with Adams on Larry Ankrum's refreshing sax quartet session, It Cannot Be Exhausted
by Use.) Power Circus is preceded at 9 p.m.
by Motion Poets (formerly known as Little Big Band), back from brief regional tour.
The night starts strong at 7:30 with a full set by Adi Yeshaya Big Band featuring Debbie Duncan. A $10 donation is appreciated, but every little bit helps. Monday. Dakota Bar and Grill, Bandana Square, St. Paul. 642-1442. (Jim Meyer)
Most reunion gigs are pale, nostalgic affairs that strain for resonance, if not relevance. But to have the gloriously goofy and ooh-so-tight lockstep funk of The Time back onstage at First Avenue, site of their show-stealing appearance in Purple Rain and a slew of other '80s performances, is a treat that should be transcendent. Hammy wiseacre Morris Day fell on his face as a film star and solo music act, and the group's 1990 comeback Pandemonium was admittedly less than that. But there's little doubt he'll spring into classic form as the band kicks into "The Bird," "The Walk," "Jungle Love," and other vintage grooves. Behind Day, Jellybean and Jerome will hold sway--sans the Flyte Tyme duo of Jam and Lewis, who obviously don't need the pub or the dough this special event offers. No matter: the prime of The Time was always about those taut purple riffs--think James Brown mixed with Motown--and the flair of the choreography, and there's no reason to think this durable formula won't hold up with a few new crew members. $15/$17 at the door. 7 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.; 338-8388.
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